Newspoll’s first result in three weeks, and second since the election, turns up a surprise in recording a shrinking in the Coalition’s lead from 53-47 to 51-49 – which, if meaningful, would mean an end to the honeymoon period and a return to where things stood at election time. On the primary vote, the Coalition is on 42%, down two points on the last poll and up 0.6% on the election result; Labor is on 34%, up one point and 0.7%; the Greens are on 11%, steady and up 0.6%; and One Nation are on 4%, up one point and 0.9%.
Leadership ratings are likewise consistent with the fading of a post-election sugar hit, with Scott Morrison down three on approval to 48% and up six on disapproval to 42%. Anthony Albanese’s ratings also seem to be trending from mediocre to respectable, with his approval up two to 41% and disapproval down to 34%, leaving him shading Morrison by a point on net approval. However, this hasn’t translated to preferred prime minister for some reason, on which Morrison holds a healthy lead of 48-30, out from 48-31 last time.
The poll was conducted by online and automated phone surveying from a sample of 1623, from Thursday to Sunday. Full report from The Australian here. As before, we remain in the dark as to how the pollster’s methods have been adjusted since the election failure, if at all. However, the size of the movements, and the lack of anything obvious to explain them, suggests the poll has not been subjected to the smoothing method that Newspoll must have been using before the election to give it its uncanny and, as it turned out, misleading consistency.